Sindhu - A Subterranean Song

Filmmaker Pallavi Arora and ceramic artist Shirley Bhatnagar explore the idea of loss and re-creation through a conversation between clay and animation. The duo have responded to the theme of Kintsugi and have focussed on the misplaced pottery of the Indus Valley Civilisation. Through the playful recreation of ancient polychrome terracotta, a more serious issue of erasing a cultural memory is raised.

  • Pallavi Arora
    ANURADHA THE MEDICAL STUDENT, 2007 Award for Best Documentary Under 10 Minutes, People’s First Film Festival for Films BHANWARI THE POLICE WOMAN, 2007 South Asian International Film Festival, New York, 2007 Schweitzer Lakedance Film Festival, Idaho 5th Annual San Diego Women Film Festival, 2007 Berlinale International Talent Campus Berlin, February 2005 MOODS OF THE GANGA, 2002 Screened at 22nd International Festival of Films on Art (Fifa), Montreal, Canada, 2004 Docedge, Asian Documentary Forum, SRFTI, Kolkata, January 2008
  • Shirley Bhatnager
  • The Serendipity Arts Foundation
  • Sandeep Pillai
    Music and Sound Design
  • Kuldeep Rawat
  • Pallavi Arora
    Animation and Illustration
  • Shirley Bhatnager
    Animation and Illustration
  • Ishan Khosla
    Photography and Lighting Consultant
  • Kristine Michael
    Curators, Serendipity Arts Festival
  • Chandrika Grover Ralleigh.
    Curators, Serendipity Arts Festival
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Experimental, Short
  • Genres:
    Animation, experimental, short, historical
  • Runtime:
    6 minutes 44 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    December 12, 2020
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
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  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    December 14, 2020
Distribution Information
    Country: India
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Pallavi Arora, Shirley Bhatnager

This film is a collaborative work between a Film maker, Pallavi Arora and Ceramic Artist, Shirley Bhatnagar.

Pallavi Arora has made films for various organisations and NGOs including The Sacred World foundation, UNICEF, HP labs documentary and Xerox Parc. Her films have been screened at film festivals across the world and have been part of two interactive design exhibitions on Gandhi -- 'The Eternal Gandhi Multimedia Museum' and 'The Crossing Project' on the city of Varanasi.

She also currently runs The Little Picture Project (LPP) that exposes children and young adults to the visual arts with a special focus on filmmaking and photography.

Shirley Bhatnagar works across design, craft and art. She has more than 25 years of professional experience in working with ceramics and has executed interesting projects using Indian crafts.
Shirley uses her work to comment on social and political issues built upon historical study and research. The sense of play and hilarity coupled with illustrations now forms the backbone of her work. She draws inspiration from cinema and folk culture.

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Director Statement

The film is an exploration between the mediums, the fragility of ceramics and the transient nature of the moving image. The graphic quality of moving lines is used as a metaphor for the Sindhu or Indus river as well as for Kintsugi or the golden line that heals.
The intangible quality of the line is used to breathe life into a static and tangible object. The film looks at the different stages of creation, loss and re-creation.
Ancient societies identified very closely with the natural world and animals were attributed with magic and power. The film features animal motifs found repeatedly depicted on pottery that has been unearthed from numerous Indus Valley sites spanning several centuries.
This experimental film is a poetic and lyrical response to the ancient creator. It has evolved during conversations and a number of drawings over several cups of tea.

This film was commissioned by Serendipity Arts Foundation for Serendipity Arts Virtual Festival 2020, for the project Creation Re- Creation, curated by Kristine Michael and Chandrika Grover Ralleigh.